Valvoline’s customers were notified on January 27, 2020 it will increase prices on branded and private label lubricants by up to 12%, effective March 2, 2020. Valvoline noted that the price adjustment is due to the rising cost of raw materials associated with manufacturing and distribution.
TOTAL Specialties USA
On January 28, Total advised its distributors of a revision to its previously announced increase. Rather than taking effect on February 3, 2020, Total will adjust prices between 8 and 15% effective March 2, 2020. The increase applies to all of its bulk and packaged lubricants.
Price Increase Roundup
The following is a summary of the lubricant price increases JobbersWorld has reported on since the start of 2020.
Stick or Slip?
Unlike the start of last year when crude prices were ramping up and both the cost of base oils and additives increased within a relatively short period of time, leaving manufacturers and marketers challenged to push through two price increase over the same short period, this year we are seeing something quite different. Whereas the price of crude spiked early on in the year, and the price of some base oils also increased, crude prices quickly retreated and have been on a downward glide path since. This leaves some asking if the current round of lubricant price increases will stick.
Something to consider while pondering the possibilities is that while Motiva was the first to move Group III base oil prices up in 2020, even in the context of the declines in the crude market last week, SK and Petro-Canada are announcing 20 CPG posting increases on Group III effective this week.
So, while some have been wondering if earlier announced base oil price increases would be rescinded, and thereby hobble efforts to push through finished lubricant price increases, the continuing increases in the price of base oil suggests the finished lubricant increases may have more stick than slip.